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Endowment Resources

The public and policymakers to continue to fix a spotlight on colleges and universities with concerns about student loans, college costs, and, increasingly, questions about how insitutions are using their endowments to alleviate those pressures. NACUBO was asked by the House Ways and Means Committee to discuss college and university endowments at an October 2015 hearing to help lawmakers and the general public gain a better understanding of how endowments are designed to work, how much spending comes from endowments, and the purposes to which those withdrawals are applied. Below are some helpful resources NACUBO has collected to help answer many of those questions as well as some links to illustrate some of the critiques.


  • Podcast: NACUBO's Director of Research and Policy Analysis, Ken Redd, discusses the 2016 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. "The trend toward spending in the short term is shaking the foundation of a long-held cultural belief in generational equity, and the new administration in Washington brings with it considerable uncertainty.(January 31, 2017)

  • Podcast:  NACUBO's director of federal affairs talks to NASFAA on their weekly "Off The Cuff" podcast. Liz shares her thoughts on why college endowments are seeing a spike in scrutiny. (December 9, 2016)

  • Funding Them Forward: "Finding the right balance in endowment spending can be a little like walking a financial tightrope. Spend too much, you cut into the corpus and are cast as a spendthrift who mismanages donor funds. Spend too little and you're labeled a hoarder who denies deserving students their scholarships." (Business Officer Magazine, December 2016)

  • "The Debate Over College Endowments and How to Cover Them," an Education Writers Association on-demand webcast (video here) featuring Liz Clark. 

    • NACUBO's slides, "College and University Endowments" (September 12, 2016)

  • Endowment Management chapter of College and University Business Administration (2016)

  • Podcast:  Explaining College and University Endowments (2016)

  • This NACUBO video provides a brief overview of how college and university endowments work.

  • Cool Down: After delivering an impressive investment gain in FY14, college and university endowments were chilled in FY15 by the changes in the financial markets, according to the 2015 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. (Business Officer Magazine, March 2016)

  • NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments

  • NACUBO Statement for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Oversight, October 7, 2015

  • Forever Funds: Ken Redd, director of research and policy analysis at NACUBO, provides an overview of the trends and issues that college and university endowments—which play a key role in funding many campus priorities—have faced during the past four decades, and the new challenges likely on the horizon, in Business Officer Magazine, November 2015.

  • NACUBO Statement for the Senate Finance Committee Working Groups on Tax-Exempt Status, April 2015

  • Why it's hard to raid a university endowment, NACUBO's Liz Clark speaks to Marketplace, January 15, 2016

College and University Publications


2014 & OLDER